Loughborough University Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
Loughborough University Featured PhD Programmes

Does REfactoring Software Work? An INDustrial and Open-source Approach (The “REWIND” Project)

Computer Science

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Dr M Arzoky , Prof S Counsell No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Brunel University London (BUL) is recruiting to EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships effective 1 October 2020. Applications are invited for the following specific project called “Does REfactoring Software Work? An INDustrial and Open-source Approach (The “REWIND” Project).

The successful applicants will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Department of Computer Science. In the software development world, refactoring has become part of a developer’s everyday activities. Despite hundreds of studies in the refactoring area, there is only anecdotal evidence of the true value of doing refactoring or its role in making code better in the long-term. We still have no understanding of whether a) refactoring has any benefits in quantitative terms or, indeed, b) whether refactoring can be harmful to code through the inadvertent seeding of bugs. The purpose of the PhD is to explore these two related issues through evolutionary code tracking and application of data mining principles. Code from the participating London-based games development company as well as open-source provides the empirical basis of the study.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate their ability to write technical documents, communicate ideas verbally, preferably have worked in a commercial environment for 6-12 months and know of theory and practice of agile techniques.

Please contact Dr Mahir Arzoky at [Email Address Removed] or Professor Steve Counsell at [Email Address Removed] for an informal discussion about the studentships.


Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, Physics or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

Experience in Code to a high standard in Java or equivalent language or having a good knowledge of data mining techniques, used packages such a Weka and statistical packages like R is an advantage. In addition, applicants should be highly motivated, able to work in a team and independently, collaborate with others and have good communication skills.

How to Apply

Please submit your application documents (see list below) by Noon on Friday 26 June 2020 to [Email Address Removed]. Interviews will take place in July 2020.
• Your up-to-date CV;
• Your personal statement (300 to 500 words) summarising your background, skills and experience;
• Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
• Evidence of your English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent, 6.0 in all sections), if appropriate;
• Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.

Remember to state the title of the project at the top of your personal statement.

Funding Notes

Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £17,285 plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees for a period of 36 months (3 years). Applicants must be eligible for home tuition fees either through nationality, residency (living in the UK for at least three years and not wholly for educational purposes) or other connection to the UK.

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